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CA´SPIAE PYLAE

CA´SPIAE PYLAE (αἱ Κάσπιοι πύλαι, Pol. 5.44; Strab. xi. pp. 522, 526; αἱ Κάσπιαι πύλαι, Hecat. Fr. 171; Ptol. 6.2.7; Arrian, Anab. 3.19; Κασπίαδες πύλαι,, Dionys. P. 1064), a narrow pass leading from North-Western Asia into the NE. provinces of Persia: hence, as the course which an army could take, called by Dionysius (1036) Κληῖδες γαίης Ἀσιήτιδος. Their exact position was at the division of Parthia from Media, about a day's journey from the Median town Rhagae. (Arrian, 3.19.) According to Isidorus Charax, they were immediately below M. Caspius. As in the case of the people [p. 1.559]called Caspii, there seem to have been two mountains, each called Caspius, one near the Armenian frontier, the other near the Parthian. It was through the pass of the Caspiae Pylae that Alexander the Great pursued Dareius. (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 3.19; Curt. 6.14; Amm. Marc. 23.6.) It was one of the most important places in ancient geography, and from it many of the meridians were measured. (Strab. i. p.64, xi. pp. 505, 514, xv. p. 720, &c.) The exact place corresponding with the ancient Caspiae Pylae is probably a spot between Hark.-a-Koh and Siah-Koh, about 6 parasangs from Rey, the name of the entrance of which is called Dereh. (Morier, Second Journey.)

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